Because the person using the screen name of Benedict is a newcomer to Croton, Crotonblog feels compelled to respond to Benedict’s suggestion in a comment that it turn itself into “a great virtual town hall”—in short, to turn itself into a chat room. Village Board meetings are held twice a month and are the perfect venue at which citizens can air their views on any topic.
Crotonblog’s original electronic-age purpose was to bring newspaper-quality information and pertinent opinion to citizens quickly because print newspapers now do this belatedly and are declining in circulation. Newspapers do comment editorially on issues in partisan fashion. And newspapers do recommend candidates for public office and praise them or criticize them unmercifully after they are elected. Crotonblog claims the same privilege and indeed does the same. We have no intention of changing what we originally conceived to be Crotonblog’s purpose or operating methods, or to trim our sails to suit changing political winds.
Comments to our editorials and articles are in a sense the electronic equivalent of letters to the editor. Most newspapers limit these to comments about material that has appeared in that newspaper. They reject letters that do not do so or whose purpose is to attack other letter writers. Crotonblog does not review letters or comments before publication, nor do we have the ability to censor them before they appear. We urge writers to restrict their contributed articles and what we call “letters to the editor” (which would be called “op-ed pieces” on newspapers) to topics of general public interest, and this can include criticism of public officials and critical analysis of public policies.
We urge anyone making a comment to an article or to an editorial to limit their comments to the article about which it is intended to be a comment and to avoid making personal comments about or attacks on other commenters or their comments. We reserve the right to judge when such comments are objectionable and to remove them. It is not, and never was, our intention for Crotonblog to become a virtual town hall or a chat room.